Funny Bones - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Funny Bones Reviews

Page 2 of 6
August 4, 2009
Watched this movie a few times and it just didn't work for me, as much as I like Oliver Platt and Ian McNeice and Lee Evans.
July 2, 2009
Widely unknown gem that explores the source of comedy. Oliver Platt plays the unfunny son (Tommy) of an enormously successful comedian played by Jerry Lewis (George). Tommy, after a tragic debut of his stand-up comedy act in Las Vegas, goes back to his birth hometown in England in search of what is funny. In England, Tommy discovers aging vaudevillians and their quirky acts, one of which he recognizes. He then explores the family who perform this familiar act, finding more than comedy.

While the film's subplot about a mystical eastern powder smuggled in large wax eggs at first appears better edited out, it provides a tenuously apt metaphor.

The greatest part of this charming story comes from learning about the family and their history. And we learn of the tragedy and pathos deep within their comedy.

I've always firmly believed the old tenet that the best comedy has threads of tragedy (or menace) in it. And in England, failed comic Tommy discovers this as well. As Tommy, Oliver Platt shows his own pathos from the start and is remarkable. The rest of the cast is a marvel: Leslie Caron is absolutely gorgeous, especially in her man's shirt, untucked, singing a cabaret song. The procession of old vaudevillians are a delight in a montage, and Freddie Davies and George Carl as an aging brother act are a revelation, a beacon illuminating the forgotten immense talent of days gone by. But the film belongs to the remarkable talents of young Lee Evans as the perhaps dimwitted son Jack. Here, we see in Evans, and in his character, a source of comedy so organic and abundant that Jim Carrey and his characters now look utterly forced and sham. And it's a shame that Evans is not as well known worldwide as Carrey; this fact being another of comedy's tragedies. Oddly, or aptly, Jerry Lewis plays one of the most serious characters in the film because he has to confront and admit the source of his own comedy. To the Jerry Lewis-phobic audience, fear not: he is actually very good here, probably because he largely, generously, takes a back seat to the more central characters. In Hitchcock parlance, Lewis' character is something of the "MacGuffin" that drives the larger story, and Lewis appears to understand this.

The style of direction is quirky, showing much charm in the old seaside town in England that was, in some long ago day (when the sun seemed to shine every day), a center for quality vaudeville. And the viewer gets to delight in two hours' evidence of what Platt's character believes: that (in my favorite line of the film), "...all the best things in life belong to the past."

Overall, hardly a perfect film. Yet it's one that stays with you. There's much love, charm and laughs in this work that may leave you feeling compelled to add to your list of all-time favorites.
July 1, 2009
A very funny and moving comedy with some great performances. Davies and Lewis are brilliant, Platt has never been better. It's actually Lee Evens who steals the show though with a real nail biting finale!
½ May 24, 2009
Oliver Pratt is Tommy Lewis in this tale of a child of a successful comedian, who after bombing in Vegas jets off to Blackpool, England to find the funny. He finds his half-brother, Jack Parker, while still unfunny, has inherited their father Jerry Lewis's genes (Ie. funny to the French). The father follows Tommy over, to make ammends for stealing the act he started with, but won't let poor Jack have the spotlight as well for the petty little reason that Jack is a murdering son-of-a-bitch. Silly Jerry. Well after kidnaping the policeman who is watching him, Jack gets to do his unfunny act. And apparently, the inhabitants of Blackpool are all French and love his shenenigans. Cheering because he doesn't kill Oliver in the process.. YAY!!!
My Grade: D+
Reviewed by Kevin O'Keefe on IMDB
February 13, 2009
One of the best films I have seen! Both funny and philosophical at the same time. I loved the characters!
Super Reviewer
½ January 20, 2009
It was interesting. I thought it was funny, but the ending was pretty weak.
½ December 5, 2008
This quirky, simple gem makes you wonder why Hollywood has to work so hard and spend so much money to make such complex crap. This honest story is beautifully filmed and cleanly directed.
November 27, 2008
what a film so awsome and jerry lewis is one of my favorit actors and lee evans what a comedian
November 14, 2008

Funny Bones,is a hidden gem from the mid-nineties, largely unheard of it, it hosts all manner of fantastic British talent, from Lee Evans to the incomparable George Carl. With the unique British wit and humour infused throughout, this is definitely something special, that has unfortunately flown under a lot of people‚??s filmic radar.

Oliver Platt is Tommy Fawkes, the son of a hugely famous comedian George Fawkes(Jerry Lewis), however Tommy is not a very good comedian, and after ‚??dieing on stage‚?? in Vegas, he decides to run away and then travels to Blackpool, where his father made his name, to try and buy an act to make it into the business. Soon he runs into Jack Parker(Lee Evans), a troubled young comedian, who is no longer allowed to perform due to his dark past, soon we discover the Parker and Fawkes family histories intertwine.

Firstly, the performances here are both convincingly and surreal, delving into the abstract nature of comedy that Britain has enjoyed since ‚??Monty Python‚?? and before. Whilst not as surrealist, there is a definitive theme of the abnormal running throughout. Oliver Platt does a fantastic job as the comedian on the edge, overshadowed by his father, and Lee Evans character consumes us as we learn about his dark past. Even the supporting cast impress at every turn, full of life, character and personality.

Director, Peter Chelsom, has done a superb job of directing, injecting soul into this movie. Choosing to use the camera as a window into their world, often giving us unusual and distorting views, not too mention the absence of digetic sound and colour in some instances, rather than favouring the clich√©d, he‚??s made this film his own. The excellent use of sound in terms of digetic and music is superb, doing a frankly outstanding job of showcasing the talent in this movie, without making it solely about them. No wonder this film picked up awards at some international film festivals.

Funny Bones is a true character driven piece, that has fortunately been blessed with a director who was seemingly born to make this film, and we as an audience can feel the love that put into making this movie. Whilst not all audiences will appreciate the film, those who do like it will soon have it listed as one of their favourites, an amazing film, truly unmissable, moving and hilarious all at once.
November 3, 2008
I want my 2 hours and 8 minutes back. The movie is odd and discombobulated.
October 13, 2008
Strange, but funny film. Luv OPLatt.
September 3, 2008
one of the first tragi-comedies i ever saw. pretty good stuff- lee evans was brilliant
August 22, 2008
At the top of my list of all-time favorite movies. Beautiful and profound.
July 13, 2008
Awesome movie with a very unfortunate name. I don't know if the studio just didn't promote this movie, I don't remember it in theaters at all, but it's great. Jerry Lewis, Oliver Platt and Lee Evans are just perfect.
½ July 12, 2008
Absolutely love this film, watched it for Lee Evans but it was brilliant. Has a lot of little stories running through, is timeless and funny.
May 21, 2008
Wow..!!!!.. What a great film this is. I had heard about it when it was released and was intrigued by the comparisons that were drawn of Lee Evans to Charlie Chaplin. Praise indeed but certainly justified, but dont let you think this film is all about Lee Evans' character (Jack Parker). Brilliant though he is, the rest of the cast make this one of the best films I have ever seen.
A unique story, with a touch of magic about it, this movie draws you in throughout and by the end you just want to go back to the start and re-live it all.
Oliver Platt (as Tommy Fawkes) plays his finest role by far and, although I expect many people's favourite scene is Jack Parker's unforgettable one-man show (where his character first meets Tommy) but for me I couldn't get enough of the little variety acts that are performed in front of Tommy Fawkes. Where these acts came from I don't now, but they provided sheer joy, all to a terrific soundtrack.

This film will not be everybody's cup of tea, but give it a go, if you take to it you will never forget it.
½ April 28, 2008
A sweet, innocuous little film that does not fail to entertain and even brings in some laughs. The cend scene was actually rather moving. The film does have a few darker moments, but, overall, it's failry light in tone. And rightly so.
½ April 28, 2008
Pretty pointless in my opinion, not a very good Oliver Platt movie, I prefer something like Three to Tango. :)
April 11, 2008
this is a good movie
April 1, 2008
this is what they call one of those little gems its well worth seeking out its bizarre, traditional , surreal at the same time the cast are fantastic oliver platt is perfect as failed american comic and jerry lewis as his father and an unbelievably versatile lee evans strange how he never seemed to go on to bigger things after this the film captures a feeling of times gone by and mixes some very funny scenes alongside a very dark and disturbing backdrop,oh and theres a subplot with oliver reed and some eggs that is best forgotten. funny bones is hugely entertaining but definetly not mainstream . and it also features two great clowns fred davis and probably the most brilliant physical comedians in history the great george carl
Page 2 of 6